Sunday, February 17, 2013

Easy Tempo, Vol. 1: A Cinematic Easy Listening Experience

Date of Release  Jul 11, 1996 inprint
Genre  Jazz
Styles  Exotica, Easy Pop
Type  various artists
Time  54:47

After compilation series like Ultra Lounge and The Sound Gallery respectively revived the popularity of classic American and English lounge pop, other European countries got in on the act with their own similar compilations. In Italy, the definitive Italian lounge compilation series began in 1997 with the release of Easy Tempo, Vol. 1. It was subtitled "a cinematic easy listening experience," but there is much more to this disc than mere mood music. In fact, the contents of Easy Tempo, Vol. 1 cover a wild array of styles within the generic bounds of the easy listening tag. Much of the material on this disc has a strong jazz bent to it: one of the best in this area is "One Fine Morning," a slick Augusto Martelli track that layers bouncy jazz horns over a rumbling and restless bass line. There are also some tracks that seem tailor-made for the dance floor: the clear winner in this arena is Armando Trovajoli's "Sessomatto," a gem that pits cooing female vocals against percolating horns, all over a hip-shaking rhythm section groove to create an irresistible slice of proto-disco. There are also some surprisingly heavy, rock-oriented tracks thrown in, the best of which is "Gangster Chase" by Guido & Maurizio De Angelis: this relentlessly rhythmic instrumental shoots out of the gate with chicken-scratching rhythm guitars dueling over lightning-paced drums, and just keeps building as swirling organ riff and scatting chorus vocals join the mix. In between all this excitement, the compilers wisely thrown in the occasional track of straightforward easy listening to give the listener a breather: the most memorable of these is Riz Ortolani's "Notte Di Grand Hotel," a lovely track that uses a lilting string arrangement to bring its ethereal, waltz-paced melody to life. The end result is a set of tracks that cut through enough genres to sustain the listener's interest, yet are similar enough in slickness and production style to hold together as a consistent compilation. This unique combination of the factors makes Easy Tempo, Vol. 1 a great introduction to Italian lounge music, and a surefire pick for anyone interested in the international lounge sound. — Donald A. Guarisco

   1.    Grigiopela  performed by Gianfranco Plenizio - 3:16 
   2.    Serena E Lamunno  performed by Riz Ortolani - 2:49 
   3.    Il Ricordo Di Serena  performed by Riz Ortolani - 2:42 
   4.    I Giovoani Benvewnti  performed by Armando Trovaioli - 5:53 
   5.    Mark Il Poliziotto  performed by Stelvio Clpriani - 2:42 
   6.    Blue Rhythm Festival  performed by Piero Piccioni - 3:45 
   7.    Notte Al Grand Hotel  performed by Riz Ortolani - 3:21 
   8.    One Fine Morning  performed by Augusto Martelli - 2:57 
   9.    La Morte Accarezza a Mezzanott  performed by Gianni Ferrio - 5:41 
   10.    Sessomatto  performed by Armando Trovaioli - 3:23 
   11.    Gangster Story  performed by De Angelis, Guido e Maurizio - 6:01 
   12.    Mood  performed by Augusto Martelli - 3:01 
   13.    Ira Rhythm & Blues  performed by Gianni Ferrio - 2:23 
   14.    La gabbia  performed by Gianni Ferrio - 4:03 
   15.    I Travestiti  performed by Riz Ortolani - 2:50 

Piero Piccioni  -  Performer
Riz Ortolani  -  Performer
Gianfranco Plenizio  -  Performer
Armando Trovaioli  -  Performer
Gianni Ferrio  -  Performer
Augusto Martelli  -  Performer

 1996 CD Right Tempo Classics 813

Easy Tempo Vol 1 - Various
Added 02/11/2001  
on the Right Tempo label

01 Gianni Ferrio - La Morte Accareza A Mezzonotte
02 Riz Ortolani - Serena E Lomunno  full track
03 Augusto Martelli - Mood
04 Riz Ortolani - Notte Al Grand Hotel
05 Armando Trovajoli - I Giovani Benvenuti
06 Stelvio Cipriano - Mark il Polizio
07 Piero Piccioni - Blue Rhythm Festival
08 Gianni Ferrio - Ira Rhythm & Blues
09 Armando Trovajoli - Sessomatto
10 Riz Ortolani - I travestiti
11 Guido e Maurizio De Angelis - Gangster Story
12 Gianfranco Plenizio - Grigioperla
13 Riz Ortolani - Il Ricordo Di Serena
14 Gianni Ferrio - La Gabbia
15 Augusto Martelli - One Fine Morning

The Easy Tempo series represents some of the finest Italian lounge type soundtracks from the 60's & 70's - Featuring the cream of Italian sound track composers.
Lounging at it's best - Easy Tempo were ahead of the field with this series. Strictly limitied quantities so snap your copy up now!

Easy Tempo Vol. 1
(Right Tempo Classic 813)

1996 appears to be shaping up as the year of the porn soundtrack. Erotic horror. Erotic schoolgirls. And now, erotic spies. From Right Tempo Classics in Italy comes Easy Tempo Vol. 1, a collection of Blue Note tinged crime meets porn jazz on a piazza in Rome. These are smooth soundtracks to late night deals, secret rendezvous and little murders. The films these pieces come from span the late '60s to early '70s, that swinging time of au go-go and care free sex show, though this music is uniquely Italian, all suave coolness and subtle sexiness.

The collection begins with four fairly straight ahead jazz numbers. Featuring electric guitar, Fender Rhodes piano and Hammond B3, these easily could have come from numerous West Coast jazz albums. Then, suddenly, Alberto Baldan Bembo's "La cortigiana" kicks in and you find yourself in swank '60s au go-go complete with bongos, cool strings and electric sitar. Riz Ortolani's "Notte al Grand Hotel" evokes the lush strings of Mancini. Sweat to the breathy moans and vocals of "Sessomatto". The electric sitars return with "Mara-Jat's Love" and "Sawaadi". "La gabbia" by Gianni Ferrio plays like a Euro theme from "Shaft" on acid.

Not as splashy or kitschy as other releases in the erotic soundtrack realm, Easy Tempo Vol. 1 nonetheless provides solid sounds from the jazzy side of the '60s and foreshadows the hip groove of today's acid jazzers.

The Music
01 Gianfranco Plenzio "Grigioperla"...
02 Riz Ortolani "Serena e Lomunno"...
03 Riz Ortolani "Il ricordo di Serena"...
04 Armando Trovajoli "I giovani Benvenuti"...
05 Alberto Baldan Bembo "La cortigiana"...
06 Stelvio Cipriani "Mark il poliziotto"...
07 Piero Piccioni "Blue Rhythm Festival"...
08 Riz Ortolani "Notte al Grand Hotel"...
09 Augusto Martelli "One Fine Morning"...
10 Gianni Ferrio "La morte accarezza a mezzanotte"...
11 Armando Trovajoli "Sessomatto"...
12 Guido e Maurizio De Angelis "Gangster Story"... 
13 Alberto Baldan Bembo "Mara-Jat's Love"...
14 Alberto Baldan Bembo "Sawadi"...
15 Augusto Martelli "Mood"...
16 Gianni Ferrio "Ira rhythm & blues"...
17 Gianni Ferrio "La gabbia"...
18 Riz Otrolani "I travestiti" 

The Movies
La Gatta In Calore (1972)...Confessione di un Commissario di Polizia al Procuratore della Repubblica (1971)...La Famiglia Benvenuti (1968)...Codice d'Amore Orientale (1974)...Mark il Poliziotto (1975)...Bora Bora (1968)...Tiffany Memorandum (1967)...La Morte Accarezza a Mezzanotte (1973)...Sesso Matto (1973)...La Polizia Incrimina, La Legge Assolve (1973)...Tony Arzenta (Big Guns) (1973)

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